One week after the release of the movie Chappaquiddick, a film shining a light on Ted Kennedy causing a woman’s death, NBC’s Today show decided it was time to change the subject with a glowing profile of the late Democratic senator’s sibling, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Offering the usual gushing over the Kennedy clan being “America’s royal family,” the morning show allowed special correspondent Maria Shriver to report on her own mother.
“The most influential Kennedy of them all? A rare look inside the life and legacy of Eunice Kennedy Shriver from her own children,” co-host Savannah Guthrie teased at the top of the show. Introducing the segment in the 7:30 a.m. ET hour, she proclaimed: “We are back with new insight into America’s royal family, the Kennedys, idolized, scrutinized, the subject of constant fascination.”
Fellow co-host Hoda Kotb declared: “Absolutely, there have been hundreds of books written about the Kennedy men, but we’re now getting rare insight into one of the Kennedy women. We’re talking about Eunice Kennedy Shriver.” The headline on screen throughout the segment read: “The Most Influential Kennedy?; Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s Kids Honor Mother’s Legacy”
Interviewing Maria Shriver and her brother Timothy, Kotb wondered: “I read this book and every page was like a brand new revelation. Why do you think it is that your mom’s legacy is only being revealed today to the world?”
Perhaps the answer to that question is the horrible mistreatment of women perpetrated by the brothers of Eunice Kennedy Shriver. In addition to Hollywood’s sudden interest in reexamining the Chappaquiddick scandal, revelations in recent years that President Kennedy forced a young White House intern into a sexual relationship with himself and one of his top aides have further tarnished the family’s legacy.
Wrapping up the Today show report, Kotb lamented that there wasn’t more focus on Shriver: “They actually called CNN and said, 'Look, you do hours and hours and hours of coverage on the Kennedys and never once have you mentioned Eunice.' And when you look at her legacy, you can’t believe she’s sort of been left out of – out of history.”
Just a week earlier on the broadcast, Guthrie sat down for an interview with actor Jason Clarke, who plays Kennedy in Chappaquiddick. She feared that the film was “fictionalized” and did a “disservice” to the liberal lawmaker.
At least NBC bothered to acknowledge the movie’s existence, CBS couldn’t even manage that. Instead, CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King conducted a gooey softball interview with Congressman Joe Kennedy III.
The liberal media just can’t seem to handle the truth about the Kennedys.
Here are excerpts of Kotb April 13 report:
7:41 AM ET
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: We are back with new insight into America’s royal family, the Kennedys, idolized, scrutinized, the subject of constant fascination.
HODA KOTB: Absolutely, there have been hundreds of books written about the Kennedy men, but we’re now getting rare insight into one of the Kennedy women. We’re talking about Eunice Kennedy Shriver. I sat down with the author of the new biography, Eunice, as well as two of Eunice’s kids, our own Maria Shriver and her brother Timothy, to find out why many believe she had the greatest Kennedy legacy of them all.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: The Most Influential Kennedy?; Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s Kids Honor Mother’s Legacy]
She grew up in the shadow of her famous brothers, but Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a powerhouse pioneer who gave a voice to the voiceless. In her new book, author Eileen McNamara calls Eunice, “The Kennedy who changed the world.”
KOTB: I read this book and every page was like a brand new revelation. Why do you think it is that your mom’s legacy is only being revealed today to the world?
MARIA SHRIVER: A lot of the work that Mummy did was really tough, you know, men’s work, but it was never seen that way, and that’s why I think this book is so revolutionary itself.
KOTB: And her Catholic faith was really her north star. That’s really where it all stemmed from. And it’s so funny, because you do think about it. They actually called CNN and said, “Look, you do hours and hours and hours of coverage on the Kennedys and never once have you mentioned Eunice.
CARSON DALY: Right.
KOTB: And when you look at her legacy, you can’t believe she’s sort of been left out of – out of history.
GUTHRIE: Yeah, you’ve been talking about it for days because you read the book before the interview. And just everything that Eunice did was so impactful and we don’t know.
KOTB: Yeah, we really don’t. Maria was just saying at the end of her life – you know, that she wasn’t lovey-dovey and huggy – but at the very end of her life, Maria says she was able to cuddle up next to her mom without her pushing her away. And she said it was like she’ll treasure that moment.
GUTHRIE: Well, in Maria’s book she talks about how Eunice had a note set out, like, “I’ll love you in Heaven.” Like that she’ll be able to love her the way that she wants to.
KOTB: Yes, she wanted to, yeah.
GUTHRIE: Yeah, it’s amazing.
KOTB: It’s worth reading. It’s a great history lesson.